The Black Abolitionist Papers - Vol. 1

By C. Peter Ripley | Go to book overview

37.
Francis S. Anderson to William Lloyd Garrison 21 April 1851

The Anglo-American antislavery network operated to certify and connect fugitives fleeing abroad. Fugitive slaves Francis S. Anderson and Alexander Duval received letters of introduction from two prominent American antislavery figures to British acquaintances. Anderson found a letter waiting for him in Liverpool that had been forwarded by William Lloyd Garrison, which commended the fugitive to "the sympathy and kind consideration of the philanthropic and Christian people of England." Duval carried a letter from Samuel May, Jr., to Rev. Francis Bishop of Liverpool; it outlined Duval's personal history. Bishop arranged for food and lodging for the fugitives in Liverpool and directed a London friend to meet and assist Duval and Anderson upon their arrival in London. As a result, two meetings were scheduled in London to allow the fugitives to tell their stories and to raise funds. Anderson wrote Garrison one week after arriving in London to thank him and to inform him of the assistance that the letters had generated for Duval and himself. NASS, 1 May 1851; I, 17, 31 May 1851.

LONDON, [ England]
April 21, 1851

MY DEAR FRIEND MR. GARRISON:

I hardly know how to begin a letter to you, being as I am such a poor scholar; but I hope you will excuse my poor penmanship. I arrived safe in Liverpool on the 26th of last month, and I thank God for his kind mercy to me whilst crossing the sea; for, indeed, I had a very rough time of it. I was sick all the voyage over. I would have given any thing to have been at my journey's end before I was half way; but, withal, I thank God that I am a free man. I consider myself freer than I ever was before. I can call this, with safety, the land of the free and the brave.

Your kind letter arrived a fortnight ahead of us. I have not language to express my thanks to you; for your letter has carried me far in London and Liverpool; and, likewise, that from Capt. Reese to the Rev. Mr. Burnet. 1 Mr. B. received me very kindly indeed. He took me to two noblemen's houses, to see if he could not get me a situation as waiter, and thinks he shall succeed in it; and he took me to the exhibition. 2 I cannot give you any idea of the things I saw there: they were so many in number, I cannot remember all. And I have seen Buckingham Palace, but have not yet seen her Majesty. She was in town when I went to the Duke of Wellington's house, 3 with a letter for a gentleman there.

I got to London on the 13th of April, and was very kindly received at

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